The Abe Episodes: Binding Contrasting Interests with the Value of ‘Harmony’

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The late former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was a master diplomat who was trusted by many world leaders, and inside stories of his encounters provide fascinating insights into his diplomatic style and skill. 

As Japan prepares a state funeral in his honor, a few of those stories are related below.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte shakes hands with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the Japanese Prime Minister’s Office (2016)

Meeting Rodrigo Duterte

In October 2016, shortly after his meeting with then Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Mr Abe expressed his impression of their meeting as “very interesting.”

At the meeting, Mr Duterte recounted an episode in which he warned a Korean visitor at a local golf course who became violent toward his children. When the visitor did not take heed of his voice, Mr Duterte threatened him by accelerating his golf cart toward him…

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